Tackle demographic change by proposing a methodology to achieve empowerment
Dubrovnik, September 2014. An ongoing challenge in our days is to lower the impact on the quality of life caused by dysfunctionality through individual support. With the background of an aging society and continuous increases in costs for care, a holistic solution is needed. This solution must integrate individual needs and preferences, locally available possibilities, regional conditions, professional and informal caregivers and provide the flexibility to implement future requirements.
Prof. Dr. Martínez Madrid presented an approach to implement case management on regional level. During the 6th European Conference of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering, serveral sessions were dedicated to the question how E-Health can be provided. Her research applies the locality principle to bring the services close to the citizens and to help them staying as long as possible in their area, their city/village and their private living space – this concept is called ‘TING’. TING aims to:
- Analyse how health, household, therapeutic-pedagogical and trustees services are implemented and interrelated in the different countries
- Analyse how new ICT technologies may be com-bined with care and home management services to improve both the services and their integration in a given community
- Find a European or international consensus on how to define and measure ‘empowerment’ in face of different practices
- Consider how local user communities interact, help and learn from each other, building a network of communities.
The process of empowerment is incremental. A self-determined, autonomous, healthy life is not a status reached at some point, but a continuous process of improvement. The first step of the process is to capture the current, subjective quality of life of a person and his/her needs or improvement wishes. In order to increase empowerment, the desired quality of life has to be stated. Individual subjective preferences are combined together with an objective measured potential. The result will be the targeted ‘quality of life’. The distance between both points is the ‘delta empowerment’. The target state can be achieved by applying suited transformations. Finally, the idea of a TING can be spread to other communities as well, so that, in case of telemedicine, it can form a cluster of TINGs interconnected for service provisioning and data derivation, introducing the network level of case management.